Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Zamboanga City Food Trip and Pasalubong Hunt



It was a Saturday. We've got no plans or whatsoever. What I really wanted was to go to the Pink beach at Sta.Cruz island but that will be fulfilled on the second day. We haven't had any breakfast nor lunch. It was late in the afternoon and we decided to check out the food scene in Zamboanga city. According to my good ol' handy dandy notebook, I should try Jimmy's Satti Haus along Pilar street. 


We didn't know where that was so from our cheap accommodation at Atilano compound, we took a jeepney to downtown (8 pesos each) or what they called pueblo and asked around there. We were at the City Hall and asked the people there. I am not so good in directions but what I remembered was they pointed us at a gas station. Just look for Jose Rizal's statue facing the city hall. On the opposite direction, parallel to where he stands, just follow the road from his back. Just walk up to a gas station on the right side of the road and turn right on that street - that's it, the Pilar street. It's a long stretch of commercial establishments. There are stalls that looked like what I usually see in Binondo or Divisoria but the cleaner version of it. We were really hungry and then we saw the Speedy Pizza.

J really loves pizza and spaghetti. So when he saw the diner he convinced me to check out the place. We went inside and saw a Chinese couple that looked like the owners of the restaurant. He ordered this solo supreme pizza and a solo chicken pizza (I didn't look at the menu so I dunno what exactly it was called) to go for 70 pesos and 80 pesos respectively. We went out and looked for the satti haus. But then again we saw this very interesting restaurant - the Fat Belly's.




solo chicken pizza - 80 pesos
Fat Belly's restaurant is just a few meters from the pizza house. We checked it out and decided to try out some of their food. We were greeted by the owner who right away knew that we weren't from Zamboanga City. He said that almost all of the eateries and restaurants in the city are prepared and cooked in halal way. 


According to wikipedia, Halal (Arabicحلال‎ ḥalāl, "permissible") is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term is used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law

Basically, pork is totally not included in Fat Belly's menu. The owner recommended their coffee with milk. He even told us that tourists usually compare it to the famous coffee of Kopi Roti. J had a brewed coffee for 18 pesos (amazing!) and I got the famous coffee with milk for 25 pesos. And boy it was really good that I ordered another one right after I finished mine. I can't seem to figure out why it tasted so good but it's perfectly great. We also got Chicken Piyanggang for 80 pesos, Beryani rice for 80 pesos, Pansit Guisado for 25 pesos and their bread that looked like a mamon-tostado for 5 pesos each. 

While we waited for the food to be served, we munched on the pizzas we took out. What I remembered was how yummy the chicken pizza was. It was really good. The food arrived and we looked at it for a minute and figured out where to put everything because the servings were huge. I particularly liked the Chicken Piyanggang. It looked weird but I am telling you that it is great. It's spicy and there was also a dip that all I could remember was the ginger. I love ginger by the way. Well, this is the part where I'm lost with words. I am no food blogger and it really pains me to quantify and qualify taste as what is yummy for me is described as yummy - if you know what I mean. J loved the Beryani rice - he loves anything that is fried period. 



brewed coffee - 18 pesos
brewed coffee with milk- 25 pesos
hameyzing!
Beryani rice - 80 pesos
Pansit guisado - 25 pesos
Chicken Piyanggang - 80 pesos (super must-try)
After the great meal, we decided to eat at the satti haus the next day because we were already full. We walked up to the end of Pilar street and saw where the satti haus was and took note of the exact place. We went straight and looked for the Paseo del Mar - apparently, the most happening place in the city. We mistakenly went to the National Museum and saw a few stalls in front of it. One of the stores had this barquillos-like snack and bought 1 pack. A pack with 10 pcs. costs 10 pesos only, 1 peso each - great! I finished it with a bottle of soda and bought some more so as to not miss it while I was there - loved it that much. 

reminded me of barquillos - 1 peso each!
We went to Paseo del Mar and saw how locals were really into this place. There were people near the sea watching the sunset, there were students who were practicing something on the other part and families who were having their afternoon snack. There were many restaurants that offer different menu (almost all are halal-certified) and what caught our attention was the barbecue stand on one side. 

There were so many people on queue and we instantly knew what to do - join the bandwagon. We got 20 pcs. red isaw for 1 peso each (yes dear, piso!), 1 order (4 pcs.) of chicken balls for 10 pesos/order, 1 order (4 pcs.) of squid balls for 10 pesos/order, 5 pcs. tempura (local version) for 5 pesos each and 1 order (3 pcs.) of kwek-kwek for 10 pesos/order. There were three choices of dips - the sweet, sweet and spicy and spicy. Everything tasted the same but the red isaw. You can finish a one stick in one bite but ity was so tasty that our red platter turned instantly into pale colors after we finished all the isaw. Our first day turned out to be a great pig-out day. 



clockwise: red isaw, squid balls, chicken balls, kwek-kwek and tempura
On our second day, right after our Sta.Cruz island trip, we went to Jimmy's Satti Haus along Pilar street. From Paseo del Mar, we found a way to get into the eatery by making a right turn along the street of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. We were the only ones who were there at that time. We saw a guy on the grilling area and he asked us to point what we wanted. It is of course a halal-certified eatery. 

I got some chicken, diced beef and beef's liver - all grilled. I paid 50 pesos for each meal. I didn't know what to expect so I was surprised when they served us our food. It looked like a soup with all the grilled food and some rice balls (probably from a puso or rice wrapped in banana leaves). It looked like a soup because of the satti sauce that was generously poured on the plate. The sauce is a fusion of a sweet and spicy thick sauce. I love sauces and dips but when I saw the satti, I realized that too much of everything is not nice at all. It was an experience though. 



grilled chicken, diced beef, beef liver and rice balls with a generous serving of satti haus
We went back to Paseo del Mar to get some booze fix. There were some bars and restaurants that offered different treats for their customers. There were some live bands playing and the promos for the booze. We chose Bistro. We didn't check their menu beforehand, we just went there because of the aesthetic appeal of the restaurant. We got some Meaty spaghetti for 60 pesos (comes with a bread and iced tea), onion rings for 50 pesos and some strong beer for 50 pesos each (500 ml.). 

I didn't like their food. The onion rings were drenched in oil - not crispy at all. The spaghetti (for Jay) tasted like the normal pinoy sweet spaghetti (by the way, he ordered 2 for himself). The beer? It tasted the same of course. 

What I loved about dining there was the open-air-by-the-sea type of environment. There were lotsa people around but it didn't feel crowded. There were bands on some restaurants but it didn't feel loud at all. It's like finding the perfect balance in spite of the crazy and chaotic world. Too much drama eh?


full moon
meaty spaghetti - 60 pesos
onion rings - 50 pesos
happy?!
We spent our third and last day to look for the best pasalubong in town. My mom specifically asked for some spanish sardines. I looked for the Canelar barter but when I asked some locals they would point us to a regular market. Apparently, barter was commonly used there when they refer to a market. And then I chanced upon someone who knows where it is. 

From the pueblo, take a "Canelar-Airport" jeepney and stay on the right side facing the driver (8 pesos each). If you see an Iglesia ni Kristo church on the right side of the road, look for the next adjacent road and you will see a signage pointing to the barter. Just go straight the road and be in awe of what it has to offer. From the Atilano compound (our pension house) just go out the main road and walk your way to the barter and look for the signage on the left side of the road. Or you can take a tricycle with a "special ride" fare. 

look for this sign and go straight the road it's pointing

any local brand?
sold along the street
We were giddy and excited to see some foreign brands around. Apparently, a half or more than of those items came from Malaysia. There were some famous brands of noodles, chocolates, coffee and other stuff. I dunno if it's cheaper there (I'm not into chocolates) but it was nice to see such brands in a local market. There are also some malong, bags and jewelries which are locally made. Look at what I bought:

100 pesos bought at the airport
3 pcs. for 100 pesos bought at Canelar bartet
lokot-lokot (it is fried) - 70 pesos bought at the airport
durian candy - 50 pesos/mangosteen candy - 35 pesos bought at Canelar barter
Apollo milk wafer - 110/4 packs bought at Canelar barter
Durian tart - 75 pesos bought at the airport
I really loved the barquillos, the coffee with milk and the Chicken Piyanggang. You should try them. 

How 'bout you? What food did you enjoy the most from your recent trip? 

Check out Zamboanga City accommodations here




27 comments:

  1. i miss the boy boy wafer ... bumil ka ba ng malong? sikat yan dyan!

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    1. hi there! yeah i saw some malongs but i've got too much already so i passed:)

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  2. waaaahhh!!! girl! nacrazy ako sa foodtrip mo dito sa zambo!!!! hehehe i ddnt knw of Fat Belly's existence so will definitely visit them... :-) naku sayang di ko nalaman na you're here, im sooo eager to meet blogger friends na nappadpad dito sa sulok namin... naaaliw ako sa mga zambo posts mo... mukhang ngenjoy kayo. :-) will share your zambo posts sa DOT namin... :D

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    1. gosh! if only i knew! sayang. marami kaming tambay moments sana nag-meet tayo :(

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  3. awww you didnt like satti much... hehe

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  4. great zamboanga post, it definitely change my perception of this province.

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    1. we did too. we definitely need to "experience" before judging :)

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  5. nice one!... oo nga pala ang spanish sardines...hinde niyo natry sa alavars...

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    1. we can't kasi we're both allergic to seafoods :(

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  6. wow ang sarap naman mga food.. kakagutom

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    1. at nagutom din ako manong nung nakita ko ngayon

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  7. akalain mo yon.. yong cadburry parang mentos lang pag idisplay jan.. hahahha.. bat di mo ko inuwian ng mga yan ha... at kung makasardinas.. wagas... wala nabored lang ako ngayon kaya binisita ko tong site mo... naaliw lang ako... :-)

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    1. hi noreen! may sardines ka sakin. di ko lang nadadala. haha. sa november na lang:)

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  8. parang ang sarap tumambay dun sa paseo del mar, barbeque, satti and puso for dinner yum! :)

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    1. sarap talaga tumambay dun tapos naririnig ko mag-Chavacano yung mga locals at hinahalukay ko sa utak ko yung mga Spanish words na natutunan ko nung college ako tapos ako na ang bumubuo sa utak ko kung ano ang laman ng pinag-uusapan nila :)

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  9. KAKAIYAK! Namimiss ko na magfoodtrip sa Pinas. I'm sooo itching to go home! Fave ko isaw manok.

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    1. uwi na gay bilis!

      isaw ng manok is the best talaga! :)

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  10. Sarap! Kagutom! Haha. Ang sosyal, ang mga chocolate nasa streets lang. :)

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    1. kagutom talaga chingky! may certain streets lang, di naman everywhere. hihi

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  11. Nice kakagutom naman :)
    good for some people who want to visit Zamboanga. sa mga curious kung ano-ano yung dapat mapuntahan mo when you're in this city :) "Asias Latin City"

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  12. At gusto ko lang sa ding i ask, sana pumunta din kayo dun sa "Food Paradise Bakeshop"
    found in front of Ok Bazaar, Climaco Avenue. dun yung may masarap na Spaghetti. promise kung nakapunta ka dun mag-eenjoy talaga kayo :)

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    1. wow! ngayon ko lang narining yun ah. sige sige. pagbalik ko dun ulit :)

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    2. spag sa food paradise the best yan ma'am batang food paradise po ako at galing po kame dun kanina wala parin kupas ang sarap.hehe 53p with iced tea na.:)

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    3. Oh. will try that pag may chance ulit Raymar. Thanks! :)

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  13. You should try other Zamboanga delicacies like Chorizo Zabala, Tamales, Lechon ( the best lechon for me is in Zamboanga ) and Antonio's buko pie ( Antonio's Restaurant ) in Pasonanca not to mention the Curacha at Chimangs in Tugbungan.

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    1. Oh wow! Will surely take note of that when I come back to Zamboanga City :)

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